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Jim A. Bartel, except as noted

Shrub, tree, generally evergreen; monoecious or dioecious. Leaf: simple, cauline, alternate or opposite (either ± 4-ranked) or whorled in 3s (6-ranked), linear or scale-, awl- or needle-like (sometimes linear and awl-like on 1 plant, or on juvenile or injured plants), generally decurrent, covering young stems. Pollen cone: axillary or terminal. Seed cone: ± fleshy to generally woody, generally hard at maturity; scales opposite or whorled, peltate or not. Seed: 1–many per scale, angled or lateral winged, generally wind-dispersed.
30 genera, 130+ species: ± worldwide, especially North America, Eurasia. [Farjon 2005 Monogr Cupressaceae Sciadopitys. RBG, Kew] Incl (paraphyletic) Taxodiaceae. Taxa of (polyphyletic) Cupressus in TJM (1993) now in Callitropsis, Chamaecyparis, Hesperocyparis. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Cupressaceae


Steve Boyd & James R. Griffin

1 sp.: western North America. (Sequoyah, Cherokee chief, 1776?–1843)
Unabridged etymology: (John Lockhart has indicated (7 Jul 2004 Interchange Feedback) that, according to Asa Gray, no one has ever found, in the writings of Endlicher (author of the genus name Sequoia), any mention of Sequoyah, the Cherokee chief for whom the genus Sequoia is often said to have been named (in Cherokee, "sequoyah" means "opossum"), and that Gray instead believed that the stem of the word was a derivation from the Latin "sequi" or "sequor," meaning "sequence" or "following," in reference to the fact that redwoods were remnants or followers of numerous fossil ancestors.)

S. sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.
Tree, plant generally sprouting vigorously from base if cut, from entire crown if burned. Stem: trunk < 110 m, to 9 m diam; old crown narrowly conic to ± cylindric, generally unbranched in lower 1/2; bark < 30 cm thick near base, fibrous, ridged, red-brown; branches downswept to ± ascending; twigs persistent < 4 years. Leaf: alternate, green < 3 years, persistent < 4; of 2 kinds, those on sprouting, rapidly growing, or fertile stems appressed, not ranked, < 8 mm, awl-like, others spreading, ± 2-ranked, 5–25 mm, linear (to lance-linear), generally flat. Pollen cone: 2–5 mm, ± spheric to ovoid. Seed cone: 13–35 mm, ± spheric, woody, maturing in 1 year, persistent < 2; scales peltate, fused to bracts. Seed: 2–7 per scale, 3–6 mm, wings 2, narrow, lateral.
n=33. Redwood forest; < 1100 m. w Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, w Inner North Coast Ranges, n&c Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, n Outer South Coast Ranges; southwestern Oregon. Tallest trees in North America. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sequoia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Sequoia sempervirens
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Gerald and Buff Corsi © 1999 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sequoia sempervirens Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.